On the back cover of the book "The Tipping Point - How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell the tipping point of any situation is described as "..that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire."
I think Metro Moncton could be at that tipping point as it relates to shopping and entertainment in Atlantic Canada. With the addition of heavy weight retailers such as Bass Pro's and Cabela's we are beginning to attract people who might typically go to Eastern Mountain Sports in North Conway or LL Bean (me being one such person). Now neither of these stores are are big as LL Bean, but they are great stores with lots of outdoor items that couldn't be purchased in this area before. Will other major retailer's notice this and begin looking at our relatively inexpensive and abundant commercial/retail property combined with some very good infrastructure. I think they will. Hello Olive Garden ..... just a thought.
As for entertainment, if this summer hasn't been an indication of what this area can do I don't know what would be. With Women's FIFA Women's World Cup, Altanticade Motorcycle Festival, Rib Fest, Motor Maids, Moncton Highland Games, Canada Day, Atlantic Nationals, Mosiaq Multicultural Festival, Atlantic Beer Fest, World Wine and Food Expo, The Frye Festival and on and on. We definitely punch above our weight class in this area as well. There is lots to do here for a relatively small city.
I see great things for this area as we "fall over" the tipping point and I think it will happen soon. Construction of the long awaited Downtown Center might just be the catalyst we need to make it happen. The construction of a new building to fill in the giant gap downtown, the potential spin offs, etc. is a great jump start that final tip. I just hope the appropriate governments see the wisdom of spending $5 to make $50. If they do make that announcement, just sit back and watch this area fly to the next level.